English referees among the best in the world, says Quique Flores

Referee shows Yellow Card

The standard of refereeing in England has been the subject of debate recently, but the Spaniard says much of the criticism surrounding officials is unfair.

Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores insists Premier League officials are among the best in the world.

The standard of refereeing became a talking point once again at the weekend after Jon Moss controversially awarded Leicester City a last-minute penalty in the 2-2 draw with West Ham United, having previously shown a red card to striker Jamie Vardy.

But while Sunday's game at the King Power Stadium was by no means the first time a referee has come under fire for his performance this season, Flores insists many officials are being wrongly criticised.

According to the Daily Star, the Spaniard told reporters: “I don’t like to talk about the referees but in England the standard is very, very high. I’ve played in lots of leagues and my experience in England is completely different.

“There are just a few mistakes but sometimes they can make mistakes. We were not happy with two penalties against us on Saturday against West Brom but we need to accept."

“I felt the referees were fair to Watford and do not feel like the referees treat us like a small team.

And Flores, who has managed in Spain, Portugal and Dubai, admits he has been surprised at how high English referees have set the bar of performance.

"We see a lot of matches each weekend and there are lots of good decisions" he added. "Where the contact and speed of play is so quick, correct decisions are made and it is really good.

“I felt the referees were fair to Watford and do not feel like the referees treat us like a small team. I’m surprised but the level in England is really high.”

With a FA Cup semi-final this weekend and Premier League survival all but assured, Flores is expected to make a number of changes for tomorrow night's game with West Ham.

Reports have already suggested that goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes, who saved two penalties in the 1-0 win at West Bromwich Albion at the weekend, could be the only player to keep his place.

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